Labor Conditions Are Awful at Chicken Plants, According to Report

A new multimedia report from Oxfam America highlights the harsh conditions endured by laborers at chicken processing facilities in the US. While workers reportedly processed roughly 14,000 chickens in a workday, they were paid an average of $11 an hour, and suffered exceptionally high rates of injury due to the repetitive and dangerous nature of the work.

Drinking Water: Extreme Weather Events Threaten Quality, Says Report

The greatest risks to water quality come from cumulative impacts of extreme weather events that happen sequentially, like a drought followed by a wildfire followed by a flood, says joint Australian-US study. As climate change likely increases the frequency of extreme weather events, resilience must be built into the management of watersheds and water treatment systems for recovery to happen. [Sunday Morning Herald]

Report: Society's Water Safety Net Is Fraying

A new National Research Council report examines possible "tipping points" that might occur if the rate of groundwater pumping rapidly increases. As surface water-scarce regions get drier amidst climate change, early warning water and drought monitoring systems could be necessary to protect precious resources. [Circle of Blue]

USGS Map Reveals Long-Term Changes in America's Groundwater Quality

Groundwater quality is declining in the United States, says the USGS in a recent mapping analysis. Nationally, pollution from chloride, nitrate and total dissolved solids (minerals, metals and salts) is on the rise in two-thirds of the 62 biggest aquifers, a serious problem since over 140 million people use groundwater as their primary drinking water source. [Circle of Blue]

Ground Meat May Need Higher Cooking Temperature To Be Safe

Years of important research by Canadian scientists that were only recently publicized raise troubling questions about one of the key principles of food safety: cooking beef to 160 degrees kills E. coli. Research developed at the University of Alberta over a span of eight years has found that some strains of the bacteria carry genes that enable them to withstand high cooking temperatures. "We may need to look at the recommendations for increasing temperature for cooking meat," Lynn McMullen, one of the head researchers, told Politico. "It may explain why we see sporadic cases of E. coli consistently." [University of Alberta]

As Populations Swell and Water Becomes Scarce, Food Prices Could Double: Report

Water is a limiting factor for feeding a world of growing population and prosperity, advises a joint UN-Global Footprint Network report. Water scarcity - exacerbated by climate change - in tandem with arable farmland scarcity are a one-two punch that needs forward thinking now to buffer the demand for food and the possibility of soaring food prices that can cause sociopolitical instability. [Reuters]

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